Reflections on Consumption: Tree medallions

October 29th.

Today, I bought nothing. Though I restocked the Environment Centre’s supplies of vinegar, baking soda and drills bits. I also ‘borrowed’ marshmallows from the Centre’s stores to give to my son. I still forgot to get them for the fire.

Copyright Leigh Symonds
Copyright Leigh Symonds

Today, I gave. I tried to make sure everyone had a good day. We were saying goodbye to a couple of students and I was stepping down as leader. I did make an effort to pay attention to my son as much as I did the others. I gave myself the opportunity to imagine with him and his younger friend. We took puppets of flying squirrels, turtles and otters to try to find some birch bark for a fire. We discovered that not all birches give their bark freely and came back empty handed but not empty-hearted. The rest of the day happened, without too much difficulty, though there were all the usual complaints and arguments and repeated requests. But there was also fun and enjoyment of some games. And we had a very nice ending ceremony where we presented the kids with small circles of wood with the name of an animal on it that reminds us of them. We focus on strengths only. We hope they will draw upon these qualities and associations with plants and other animals to give them confidence. This tradition is one of the things that drew me to this community. So, I am happy to give back to other children and their families.

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